Neil Myler

Assistant Professor of Linguistics
Director of Graduate Admissions (for Fall 2018)
Neil Myler
Office phone: 617-358-4642
Fax: 617-358-4641
Office number: Linguistics B 08
Office address: Linguistics Department, 621 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Office hours: Spring 2019: on leave

BA, Modern and Medieval Languages, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge (UK)
MPhil, Linguistics, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge (UK)
PhD, Linguistics, New York University

Professor Myler teaches courses on morphology and various aspects of comparative morphosyntax. His research interests include morphology, (micro-)comparative syntax, argument structure, and the morphosyntax and semantics of possession cross-linguistically. Prof. Myler carries out linguistic fieldwork on Quechua languages (in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina) and on English dialects. For a full list of publications, see

Neil Myler introduces himself and describes his courses (see below):


Fall 2019 (tentative)

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

GRS LX 611

Morphology: Introduction to the Structures and Shapes of Words

A1 Myler MWF 9:05-9:55 CAS 201
Morphology, the study of the internal structure and the shapes of words across languages, straddles the boundary between syntax and phonology. This course covers the major empirical and theoretical issues in the study of morphology, emphasizing links to other components of grammar. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with CAS LX 311; Previously offered as CAS LX 521 "Morphology"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

GRS LX 617

"Having" and "Being" across Languages

A1 Myler MWF 1:25-2:15 CAS 315
Languages differ startlingly in how they express the apparently basic concepts of “possession” and “essence”. Students explore this variety and its implications, addressing fundamental questions about linguistic relativism, language universals, and the relationship between structure and meaning. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with CAS LX 317; Previously offered as CAS LX 517 ""Having" and "Being" across Languages"]

Spring 2020 (tentative)

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 110

SAY WHAT ? Accents, Dialects, and Society

A1 Myler TR 12:30-1:45 TBA
When people from different regions of the US and from various parts of the English-speaking world meet for the first time, they are immediately struck by differences in the way they speak. For speakers of so-called “non-standard” dialects, this can give rise to insecurity and frustration, and dialect prejudice may lead such speakers to suppress aspects of their native variety (an experience familiar to many American college students). But is there any objective reason to consider non-standard dialects as inferior? What are the implications of dialect diversity for education, civil rights, and other aspects of public policy? How are dialects and their speakers represented in literature, film, humor, music, and other aspects of popular culture? How exactly does English vary across different places and social groups? Where do these accents and dialects come from in the first place? This course, which assumes no previous background in linguistics, investigates these questions from both a linguistic and a more broadly humanistic perspective. [Prereq: None. Students who have already taken CAS LX 250 or any higher-level linguistics course (or are doing so concurrently) are not eligible to take CAS LX 110.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy

GRS LX 665

Variation in Dialects of English

A1 Myler TR 9:30-10:45 TBA
This course explores how dialects of English differ from each other, focusing on grammatical variation in the US, with occasional forays into British dialects. The class will examine grammatical diversity on a number of levels (including accents, dialectal vocabulary, and social factors in language variation), but the main focus will be on studying and accounting for morphosyntactic differences amongst varieties. Students come to appreciate how linguists investigate grammatical diversity scientifically, revealing the complex structure of non-standard dialects. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with CAS LX 365; Also offered as CAS EN 313; Previously offered as CAS LX 530 "Variation in Dialects of English"]